Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Irvine Valley College's bouncy house invitationals!



     Earlier today, I noticed that some of my colleagues were hot and bothered about some fresh atrocity, but I had to rush off to teach before I got clued in. Later in the afternoon, I learned what all the fuss was about. It was about a flier we had all received regarding next week's "Sexual Assault Awareness Week." Since there's a senate meeting tomorrow, and I'm one of my School's senators, I immediately wrote my colleagues:

     As you know, many of us have long complained about the anti-intellectualism and sub-collegiate cluelessness of college leadership and of so much of what goes on at IVC (embarrassing commencement speeches, bouncy-house invitationals, dubious kiddie competitions, etc.).    
     The latest chapter, in my view, is the upcoming “Sexual assault awareness week,” which appears to have been organized by the Young Republicans. Check it out. (There’s a flier in your mail slot.)   
     Obviously, I have no objection to holding such a "Week." The various events of the “Week,” however, seem to reflect an understanding of the sexual assault issue according to which women had better get on the stick (self-protection, increased assertiveness, survival), men seemingly have no role at all, and, luckily, Title XI IX “protects all.”
     Really!      
Featured speaker Janina Scarlet
     Further, the “Week” ends with a presentation by speaker Janina Scarlet, who will explain “Superhero Therapy,” which “refers to incorporating characters from geek culture, including Superheroes and other characters from comic books, as well as characters from fantasy, science fiction, and video games into evidence-based therapy….”   
     I’m not familiar with the latter, but it doesn’t sound promising. (See Scarlet’s video, Coping with Celebrity Deaths.)      
     Part of the problem here, I think, is that the organizers of the “Week” failed to consult with the various experts that are available among faculty, including especially some of the faculty of the School of Humanities (Women’s Studies instructors, et al.).   
     At Thursday’s Senate Meeting, I will note this problem and will ask that the Senate Prez to communicate faculty’s displeasure with the planned "Week," if such is the case. Perhaps future organizers will be encouraged to at least engage in the appropriate consultation.  
--Senator Roy
     I have already received several responses. Some viewed Scarlet's video and were horrified, despite their love of geek heroes David Bowie, Alan Rickman, et al. Some seethed anew about more familiar routine spasms of abject anti-intellectualism at this college. One person agreed with my sentiments but suggested that my referring to the "Young Republicans" was passé. A colleague noted that one of Scarlet's geek heroes is a known anti-Semite. Sheesh!
     What do you think about this superhero guff and the rest of "awareness" week?

From the flier:


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is an obvious sense of victim blaming in the events listed. "Assertiveness for women" suggests saying "no" loudly enough or taking a self defense class would necessarily protect a person and that the only victims of assault are women. How about we have the conversation about how rape cultures are created, how to combat sexist stereotypes, and let's acknowledge the current failure of Title IX to "protect all." There's a problem when the police are involved in the event but no educators or experts who study rape and assault from an intellectual (and feminist) perspective seem to be invited. It seems that the focus is self-protection and support after the fact, arguably important but generally incomplete without the other part of the conversation. We need to address why this is happening and speak directly to the perpetrators and bystanders of violence so that people understand a rapist is more likely to be the friend you high fived on the way upstairs with a partner rather than a man who jumps out of the bushes. Perhaps these things will be addressed. But this sure seems unlikely given the titles of these workshops.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! She is an embarrassment. Are you friggin' serious? Was Princess Leia not available?

Anonymous said...

She's pretty hot, though. Will she be wearing the iconic Princess Leia slavegirl outfit?

Anonymous said...

You are correct Roy... Title IX is for all. The workshops should be presented in that tone.

Anonymous said...

The superhero guru is obviously someone's friend who will now get a big check. Too bad the college can't or won't recognize the experts on staff they already have. This is embarrassing.

Unknown said...

?Anyone go to these events? How did the week go? Was it as bad as it seemed on the surface or not?

Anonymous said...

10:25, a well known characteristic of our administration is their ability to systematically marginalize and disinfranchise those they do not personally like. Passive aggressiveness is not only very childlike, its a phychosis. One would expect adult-level maturity of those who work in higher education but the way they behave is the anthesis of it, not to mention, uncollegiate. What you have to look forward to is that these behaviors will only continue until we get a complete administrative overhaul.